Every once in a while, we’re reminded of how dystopian America can be. Mass shootings never went away during the coronavirus pandemic, but they were simmering under the surface. It was easy to forget about them.
They most recently returned to the public consciousness with a blitz of major incidents: 10 dead in Boulder, nine in Indianapolis, eight in Atlanta, and now six in Colorado Springs. These incidents initiated the same routines that we are all too familiar with, ones that slip the collective memory until the next mass shooting.
We hear promises of gun reform alongside the “thoughts and prayers” routine. The Onion posts its satirical headline again, one that has established itself so thoroughly that it has its own Wikipedia article. Republican politicians dance around the issue, criticize the Parkland kids, and wait for it to blow over so they can go back to harassing trans people.
It is exhausting. Gun control may be a complicated, multi-faceted issue, with no easy catch-all solutions, but at the same time it really isn’t. Take away as many guns as possible. Start by banning assault weapons and closing loopholes. You can still go hunting and own your personal weapon if you so choose. Ideally, ordinary citizens wouldn’t be able to own deadly weapons, but we’re past the point of being able to legislate our way out of that problem.
A vast, politically influential section of America has become so enamored with the idea of “gun rights” that any reasonable restrictions whatsoever are seen as infringing on individual liberty. We need not care about the people that think that. If they’re so worried about losing their AR-15, they have psychological problems that they shouldn’t be blaming on Joe Biden.
This issue is difficult because many see it as one of those “slippery slope” problems. They worry that the “gun control” buzzword will result in the government knocking on every 45-year-old white dude in Georgia’s door and stealing their gun. That dude in Georgia can then complain that all the inner-city people in Chicago still have guns.
I don’t know how to say this other than: that is not remotely close to what people want. It is not practically and politically feasible to take every gun off the streets, or even to greatly restrict the personal…